The Ant and the Butterfly

Isn’t it interesting how often times, those who are the closest to us are the most “opposite’ of us – personality, demeanor, motivations, dreams, desires, etc?  I think that most of us realize that many, if not most personal/marriage relationships are this way… as sometimes challenging it can be.  Often, what initially attracted us to that person, over time, can be the same things that ‘annoy’ us… truth be told.

My wife and I have dealt with some of these same things.  There is a personality/behavioral profile called the DISC profile system.  It helps to define our individual motivational factors, our personal approach to life and work, and our overall personality traits.  I like to refer to this as how we are ‘wired’.  Here is a brief description of each.  See if you can find which one fits ‘you’ the best.

D – Dominance: problem solvers, strong willed, determined, aggressive, ambitious, pioneering

I – Influence: influencers through talking, enthusiastic, warm, trusting, magnetic, convincing, center of attention

S – Steadiness: steady paced, like security, stable, consistent, deliberate, can be unemotional/’poker faced’

C – Compliance: like to adhere to rules and structure, quality work, careful, cautious, neat, systematic, tactful

Of course there are life factors like stress, illness, etc. that can sway these a bit and you can probably see a little bit of yourself in each description, but in general, we all are ‘wired’ to have one of these four as our primary ‘mode of operation’.

Personally, I am a high ‘S’ and my wife is a high ‘I’.  I like who I am, but often, my high “S” clashes with my wife’s high “I”.  I like being focused, consistent, determined and logical in my thinking… like an ‘ant’.  On the other hand, my wife likes to ‘float’ from one thing to another.  She loves variety, fun, talking and opportunities to connect with others… like a ‘butterfly’.

Despite our differences however, our relationship is rooted in our love for each other and we both continue to learn ways to properly manage our commonalities and our differences.

Can you relate?  Can you think of someone you are close too who sometimes (or often) seems to be the ‘opposite’ of you?

A few tips I have learned about maintaining healthy relationships:

1.     We cannot expect our spouse to be just like us.  God made us different for a reason. We need one another’s gifts and personality differences.

2.     Focus less on what you don’t have in common… and more on what you do – planning time together (often!) around those common areas.

3.     Make the effort to do the things your spouse likes to do (even if it doesn’t really thrill you…) it’s about loving one another and spending time together.

4.     The tongue has the power of life and death – Prov. 18:21.  We must choose to speak/pray words of life… positive words over/about your spouse and your marriage.  We all need to hear why and how much we are loved and appreciated, versus how “different” we are or what we “don’t” have in common.

5.     Allow your spouse to help you – allow them into your ‘world’.  The bible tells us in Ecc 4:9-10 that two are better than one, for if one falls the other can pick them up. It is so true. If we were all the same, perhaps we’d all fall at the same time… then who would pick us up?

There is a lot we can learn from both the ant and butterfly.  Although each has its own unique gifts, abilities and purpose, the one thing they both do have in common is their high value and worth in God’s eyes and their ‘call’ to live life to its fullest – glorifying God in all they do.  We would be wise to help those closest to us be all God created them to be!

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